When I was thirteen I became obsessed with running. And maybe obsessed isn’t the best word... I wanted to run because I wanted to lose weight. I thought running was my solution. And so I woke up morning after morning and ran mile after mile. I didn’t lose weight. And you’re probably saying, “Katie, what does this have to do with me and why do I care?” Just hang on bud, it’ll make sense soon.
When I was thirteen I became obsessed with the way I looked. I thought that losing weight equated being healthy. I thought to be healthy meant that I would be pretty, and therefore I thought that if I ran I’d magically become pretty. So I spent time running. Looking back now, I laugh at how far off I was. I didn’t think about the content of my diet or how much water I needed to drink, just how much I ran and how many calories I consumed. I didn’t lose weight. I lost a lot of confidence and happiness, and for a while, I lost my joy.
Friends the same is true with our relationships with God.
Have you ever heard the quote, “Run as fast as you can towards God, and if someone keeps up, introduce yourself”? If I’m being completely honest, this used to be my favorite quote; my mantra. I’m almost positive that was my slogan, my motto through the majority of my single life. Recently I realized that I have a problem with this quote and it comes down to one word… Run.
Friends, I don’t merely want to run towards God, I want to chase after God.
So maybe now you’re confused because you think “running” and “chasing” are the same things. Friends, To run means to “move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all the feet on the ground at the same time.” To Chase means to “pursue in order to catch or catch up with.” Just like when I was attempting to lose weight, running isn’t the answer. Dear one, it is my greatest desire to pursue Jesus with all that I have. I want to chase after him and I want you to do the same.
Sweet friend, when we choose to chase after Jesus, we are choosing to do what he has called us to do. We are happily agreeing to read his word in order to understand him better. We are delightfully seeking to talk with him constantly through prayer. And all of this means that we are intentionally choosing to grow our relationship with Christ. Friends, chasing after Jesus means that down to the last molecule that makes up our DNA, we are choosing to seek Him with all that we are. We are choosing to do more than just “run”. We are choosing to be healthy in our “diet” of scripture. We are choosing to be replenished by the living water. We are choosing to rest in His peace, while we chase after all that He has planned for our lives.
Friends, even when I was “obsessed” with running, I absolutely hated it. Being a follower of Jesus means that you abandon comfort and you chase after him. You choose to leave behind the things of this world and seek him. Bud, sometimes that means we are going to be sore. Sometimes it’s going to feel like if you take even one more step you’re going to fall. It won’t always be fun, it won’t always be easy. Actually, the bible says the exact opposite. Matthew 8:18-22 says, ‘ “When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” ’ In the words of David Platt, “Radical obedience to Christ is not easy... It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.”
In chasing towards God, I’m admitting that I will never reach His standard of goodness. I’m admitting He will always be first, and rightfully so. I’m admitting that I’m to live an “I am second” lifestyle- pushing to be as close to him as possible. It won’t always be easy. Sometimes I’m going to get winded and tired. I’m probably going to feel like giving up. But in the goodness and graciousness of God, I know that He is enough. I know He is worthy. And so I chase Him, with all that I am, and all I will ever be.
Friends, I encourage you to do the same. When we are tempted to chase after the things of this world, join me in chasing after Christ.
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”